Extremism

Digital duas and real world action #BringBackOurGirls

This week has seen an uptick in activism – social and on the ground – and awareness raising of the situation of nearly 300 school girls who were abducted by the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram last month. Protests have been planned in capitols around the world, a hashtag campaign #BringOurGirlsBack has trended on Twitter, and I’m beginning to see articles and photos in the mainstream press depicting the nature of this tragedy (though some of the framing has been problematic).

Read More

From Ohio to Hollywood: Why I wrote about Islam

I have a somewhat unusual background—my father is a conservative Indian immigrant and my mother is from Kentucky. It’s also worth noting that my mother is very country and very white. As for myself, I was raised on red meat, potatoes and classic rock in Columbus, Ohio. I recall my childhood being quintessentially American, but with something of a twist.

Read More

Muslim mobs insult Muhammad’s legacy

Whether or not it turns out (as I expect it will) that Middle-Eastern Muslim mobs were duped by jihadist radicals — provoked by an old, fringe video to provide cover for their own planned attacks on Muslim-friendly American forces in Egypt, Libya and Yemen — those mobs are a worse insult to Muhammad and Islam that anything an ignorant non-Muslim could ever do.

Read More

Wanted Women: Faith, Lies, and the War on Terror

Deborah Scroggins’ impressive dual biography traces the lives of two extraordinary and controversial women who became the subjects of a global heated and emotional debate about Islam and the world order. No matter what your opinion about these women, this uncannily juxtaposed book will broaden your understanding of how Aafia Siddiqui and Ayaan Hirsi Ali came to represent radical extremes on the spectrum of Muslim belief.

Read More

“Honor” killings and political correctness

The debate about whether Canada’s “Shafia murders” were “honor killings” or “domestic violence” seems like an argument about whether “■” is a square or a rectangle. Beneath the surface, however, much more than semantics is at stake. Critics who reject all mention of “honor” have legitimate grievances about the language we use to discuss these crimes, but their reaction is misguided. We should not blame violence against women on culture alone, nor should we ignore the role that culture plays in enabling it.

Read More